Andy ready for 2016 soccer season
Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 2, 2016
The start of the high school soccer season is a little more than a month away, but Andalusia coach Tim Ramsden is excited about the potential of this year’s squad.
“We were very pleasantly surprised with the amount of people that came out for tryouts this year,” Ramsden said. “There was between 60 and 65 that came out. Very surprisingly, 10 to 15 of those guys were basketball and football players.”
With the basketball and football players joining the squad, Ramsden said he thinks they should be big assets.
“In the past, we have had some success with football and basketball players,” Ramsden said. “Jaxon Rudolph plays both basketball and football, he was our most improved player last season and he saw a lot of minutes for us.”
With the amount of people trying out and the limited number of positions, not everyone was able to make it, but with the extra players Ramsden said that Andalusia will field a junior varsity team as well.
“Out of the people that came out, we took 35 of them,” Ramsden said. “We will have a junior varsity and varsity team, and we are very excited about that. We played a few junior varsity games last year, but we haven’t had an actual team. The goal is to play around six to eight junior varsity games, as well as a tournament.”
Last year, the Bulldogs had just one senior on the team, but Ramsden said that this year they have five. The seniors this year are Taran Carrasco, Cole Bush, Shelbee Mathews, Cameron Phillips and Rudolph.
“We are a lot older this year,” Ramsden said. “There are five seniors on the squad this year, but we are still young, experience wise. A lot of these newer players haven’t played at this level.”
This season, Ramsden is said the Bulldogs have potential, but that they must find a dependable goalkeeper to replace Ben Jackson, who graduated last year.
“One thing that could be our Achilles’ heel, will be having to find a goalkeeper to replace Ben Jackson,” Ramsden said. “We have an eighth grader, Franklin Osorio-Lopez, who is technically a very good goalkeeper and a very good athlete, but he just isn’t as big as you need to be. He is going to be a great goalkeeper in the future, I’m just not sure if he can go up against all the much bigger and older teams that we will be facing.”
One possibility is putting one of the football or basketball players at goalkeeper said Ramsden.
“I’m thinking about trying out one of the football or basketball players back there, but that is asking a lot from them to learn such a complicated position in such a short amount of time,” Ramsden said.
Ramsden said one thing that they have going for them is that they are bigger and faster than they were a year ago.
“This year, we are bigger and stronger,” Ramsden said. “Initially, I’m very encouraged with the possibilities for this year.”
Ramsden said that this season the Bulldogs will no longer have to deal with a drive to Demopolis for an area match with last year’s area champions.
“Demopolis ended up being a powerhouse last season, and they didn’t lose a single area game,” Ramsden said. “This year, they have been moved to the Tuscaloosa area, and we won’t have to play them to get into the playoffs. It will be us, UMS-Wright, Satsuma and Thomasville in the area this year. We lost close games last year to UMS, but we were able to beat the other two teams.
Right now, Ramsden said that Bulldogs are just doing some light conditioning work, but would ramp up the conditioning once school starts back.
The first day they are allowed to practice with a ball will be on Jan. 18, and the first game of the season will be in Enterprise on Feb. 8.
Andalusia’s first home game will be against Houston Academy on Feb. 11.